After Worst Anti-Latino Attack in U.S. History, Trump Suggests 'Marrying' Stronger Background Checks with Immigration Reform

Just days after Saturday's mass shooting in El Paso, which has been branded the deadliest anti-Latino attack in modern American history, President Donald Trump has suggested that "something good, if not great" could come out of the tragedy if lawmakers can "marry" legislation for stronger background checks for firearm purchases with "desperately needed immigration reform."

"We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded," Trump said in a tweet early Monday morning in the wake of the two attacks.

"We can never forget them, and those many who came before them. Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks," said the president, before suggesting that lawmakers consider "perhaps marrying…this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform."

"We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!" the president said.

The U.S. leader's suggestion that legislation for stronger background checks for those seeking to buy firearms be "married" with immigration reform days after an attack targeting Latino and immigrant communities has already prompted backlash.

In the moments after the U.S. leader floated the idea, outspoken Trump critic Tony Posnanski responded with a string of expletives, telling the U.S. leader: "F*** you, f*** you, f*** you. This has nothing to do with undocumented immigrants. This is your rhetoric at rallies, no gun control, and your tweets. So f*** you. And in case you didn't hear me, f*** you."

"Unreal!" comedian Dean Obeidallah said, also responding to the tweet. "Trump now proposing 'immigration reform' after white supremacist terror attack targeting immigration. I can assure you Trump's 'immigration reform' will not be allowing more immigrants in the U.S.-it will be restricting immigration just like [the] El Paso terrorist wanted."

The president's comments came not long after it emerged that the suspect in Saturday's shooting at a Walmart in El Paso—Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old resident of Allen, Texas—was believed to have authored a "manifesto" posted on the website 8chan shortly before the attack. The posting railed against the Latino community, immigrants and the Republican Party's "inaction" against the destruction of the United States.

It has been widely pointed out that the post contains language similar to that used by Trump, with the author branding the presence of Latinos in Texas an "invasion"—a word repeatedly used by the president to describe migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

While the author of the 8chan post tries to distance themselves from Trump, asserting that their beliefs "predate Trump and his campaign for president," many have blamed the U.S. leader for having stoked the racism and hatred that drive such sentiments.

U.S. officials announced on Sunday that they would be treating the shooting in El Paso as a "domestic terrorist case," with U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John Bash asserting that the attack appeared "to be designed to intimidate a civilian population, to say the least."

Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar praised the Department of Justice for recognizing the shooting for "what it is: a racially-motivated terrorist attack on our safe and tranquil community."

"The shooter came into our community because we are a Hispanic community and because we have immigrants in our community. He came here to harm us,"she said.

Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to journalists before boarding Marine One and departing the White House August 02, 2019 in Washington, DC. The hashtags #TrumpsTerrorists and #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism trended on Twitter on Sunday after with mass shootings. Chip Somodevilla/Getty
After Worst Anti-Latino Attack in U.S. History, Trump Suggests 'Marrying' Stronger Background Checks with Immigration Reform | U.S.